Whether you are in the trenches, at the top of the organization, at home, or in the community, sometimes you need a cheerleader.
A cheerleader is:
- An enthusiastic and vocal supporter of someone or something, to encourage you to reach your goal, win a point, lift your spirits when you are feeling down, and support you.
- Someone who is going to help boost your confidence by reinforcing all the things that you’ve achieved and are good at. They may tell others about how awesome you are.
Why we need a cheerleader in our life
In the last two years COVID has turned our lives upside down. We have isolated ourselves physically and mentally and it is taking its toll on us. Mental health issues, violence, abuse, losses, burnout and anger are real outcomes of this new normal. We need some cheering up to keep going. We need to see something positive to balance out the negative in our lives.
I used to participate in dragon boat racing. It was exciting and fun. It’s a team sport where the slightest wrong move will affect the entire boat and team. It’s a great sport because it requires mental and physical fitness to complete the race. There is nothing like the cheering and chanting of “go, go, go” or “We got this,” “Give a little bit more” and so on as we approach the finish line. When you have given all that you can give, the cheering you hear in the background gives you the little extra shot of adrenaline to help get you over the finish line. What a rush!
I have a few friends at work, both male and female, that have been my cheerleaders. It gives me a boost when I hear “that was an excellent point” or “I know you will do this really well.” I also have cheerleaders in my personal life that give me that boost, mainly my husband, my sister, and my cousin.
A cheerleader implies optimism and hope. Optimistic people see events as temporary and changeable. They will say for example, its not me, it’s going get better, I can do something about this. This optimistic mindset helps re-frame the situation to cope . It helps prevent against helplessness, depression, anxiety and giving up after failure because you feel like you have control over the situation. You can change what you can control.
Sometimes you might have to be your own cheerleader
All of us need cheerleaders, especially at critical points of life when we are really discouraged . If we have someone who can be our cheerleader great, but we can’t always count on someone to be there and be our cheerleader. We need to learn to be our own cheerleader. Below are some tips on how to be your own cheerleader. However, if you are unable to cope, please get professional help.
Here’s how I cheer lead myself!
- Aside from the usual things like get sleep, exercise and have a good diet, I think about the times when I did something hard. I remember how it felt when I successfully completed it- my sense of pride and accomplishment. Thinking about this reminds me that I am capable and I can do hard things.
- I also think about other times when I felt discouraged and how I was able to get past it. I remind myself that this is only a temporary situation and things will change. I think about what I did and what helped. I will give myself a pep talk.
- I give myself some grace and space to feel, grieve and let it go. I try not to set up camp at the discouragement site.
- I clean or tidy when I feel stressed or discouraged. There is something about setting things in order that helps me feel in control of my life and gives me a renewed perspective. I tidy or clean out my closet, utensil drawer, refrigerator, garage, etc. and it makes me feel like I am clearing out the clutter and bad things in my life. I always feel good afterwards and have a better outlook.
I was reminded about Marie Kondo when I wrote #4. Marie Kondo is a young woman who lives in Japan and has spent her life tidying and de-cluttering spaces. She has made a name for herself with her philosophy about tidying and de cluttering.
“Tidying is a powerful tool…the true goal of tidying is to clear away clutter so you can live the life you want. When you put your house in order… you have no choice but to listen to your inner voice-because the question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. When you reassess your belongings and organize your home, you set the stage for a huge transformation. This is the magic of tidying. Keep only those things that speak to the heart and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service-then let them go.
People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy because of its effectiveness and that it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward looking.
You are not choosing what to discard, but rather, choosing to keep only the items that speak to your heart. Through tidying, you can reset your life and spend the rest of your life surrounded by the people and things your love the most. “
Photo by Cheryl Edwards
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